Archive for the 'Los Angeles' Category


My piece for City Listening II

I hope that lady in third row was awake for this.

With apologies to Marlo Stanfield, I call this brief, angry screed “The Other Way.”

I would kill for Los Angeles to have a comprehensive subway system.  I would choke someone to death with my bare hands, if I had assurances from God, Allah, Xenu, The Beyonder, Oprah, or whoever it is that runs the universe that by committing the act of murder, I would be assuring the citizens of the City of Angels the basic level of public transport enjoyed by the residents of every other mega city in the first world.

Understand that I’m not talking about two jackass subway lines.  I’m talking about a subway system that actually attempts to connect the city.  Even if you did decide to start with two, modest lines to begin with, who in their right mind would prioritize a subway line to North Hollywood over one that goes to Mid-Wilshire, Melrose, West 3rd Street, West Hollywood, The Fairfax District, Century City, The Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Santa Monica or Venice?

I don’t know if it was I.F. Stone, Studs Turkle or H. L. Mencken who coined this phrase, but it’s the only thing I can think of to describe the Los Angeles subway: What the fuck?  Also, anyone who actually writes, types or speaks the term “NoHo” when talking about North Hollywood,  stop it.

Oh, you think LA’s population is too big and too sprawling?  Then we better get to work building a big, sprawling subway system.  The sooner we start, the sooner it’s finished.

What’s that, you say?  Mayor Villairaigosa’s 30/10 plan would extend the purple line to Westwood by 2017?  That’s a great start to a subway system that we should have been building thirty years ago.  More.

We have done everything that we can possibly do to help cars get around Los Angeles. We have continued to add more lanes and widen more surface streets which only serves to funnel more drivers into the impacted small intestine that winds its way in and around the city.

From here, we could assign blame in various places. It would be easy for me to suggest that we all get our torches and pitchforks and march on Casa de Waxman.  We could tie him down and shoot blasts of methane gas into his face until his stupid mustache gets blown off.

We could get Warren Olney to hold a town-hall hold meeting in Brentwood where all of the the west side NIMBY assholes could apologize to the entire city, and admit that their fears of having their lily-white enclaves besieged by marauding bands of black and brown people–perhaps led by a Latino Lord Humungus–were both racist and elitist.

We could also point the finger at every single Angeleno who has lived here during the past fifty years.  We cruised along, fat and happy; gorging ourselves on cheap gas and Big Gulps in increasingly bigger cars as our commutes got longer, our waist lines bigger and our air quality worsened.

We could do all of that, but it doesn’t help.  What does help?   That’s not even a rhetorical question.  I’m honestly asking for guidance. How do we get there from here? And when we get there, would it be childish and petty of me to ride the subway to Henry Waxman’s house and punch him in the nose?



de Lab’s City Listening II

CityListeningAd copy

One of the best–and most unforeseen–benefits of being able to call yourself a published author is the frequency with which people deem you qualified to stand before them and speak in various settings and capacities.  This weekend, I’m going to be taking place in Design east of La Brea’s  fund raising event, City Listening II.  I’ll be joining other LA writers reading pieces about design and urbanism.  Also, crazy food truck action from The Flying Pig and Coolhaus, booze, and a silent auction.  $25 Tickets includes drinks, food and admission to the show.  Bring your man bag and your Leica, this will be some serious hipster, LA shit.  In a good way.


LA Times: For her an uproar, for him a whisper

They were killed on the same day, in the same way. One of the deaths captured the attention of a city and spurred the Los Angeles Police Department into overdrive. The other slipped by unnoticed, leaving a lone detective with little more to go on than hope.

Some stories don’t even need commentary.


This is why I love the city, Vol. 3

He’s back.


Who could this be?  Maybe it’s one of the Skerritt boys?  Also…chess.


Do you like smooth jazz and funky, old houses?


If you answered yes, click here.  I want to buy this place  and throw  parties where The Wife and I play nothing but this song over and over again.  I’ll be wearing a yellow, v-neck cashmere sweater with the sleeves pushed up.  You’ll find it at the Macy’s Men’s Store in the Liz Claiborne collection.  It’s called “The Al Jarreau.”  She’ll be wearing a vintage DVF number with no bra.  Yeah.  It will be that kind of night.

I’m pretty sure a porn star was murdered in this house.  It just has that vibe.  Also…

Dear Internet,

It’s 2009.  Why the fuck are you still resizing my browser?


Everybody in the world with a fucking computer.


The kids in Hollywood who sell Star Maps?




This is why I love the city

And not just specifically Los Angeles.  Any city.  Nothing personal, hamlets, towns and unincorporated municipalities.  You just don’t have enough crazies.  Once you get a sufficient number of human beings living within a concentrated area, there are more than enough people walking around with a few screws loose to make even the most mundane tasks entertaining.  Or, maybe I’m writing this person off too hastily?  Maybe I’m doing exactly what those heartless, manipulating bastards at the Centers for Disease Control want me to do?  This was written on the wall of The Saban Free Clinic.  This guy might have stumbled onto some global conspiracy that’s masquerading as various non-profit health organizations.

Or, he could just be a psycho with a green crayon.  Yeah, I’m gonna go with that one.


Best car salesman ever

This is reason #4,080 why Craigslist is fucking great.  Good looking out, Mark!


I love LA!


Taken for a Ride

Whenever I find myself bogged down in LA’s notorious traffic, the following two thoughts invariably pop into my head.

1.  Get the fuck out of my way!

2.  It didn’t have to be like this.

Taken for a Ride is a 1996 documentary that lays out some of the circumstances that led to America having “the worst public transit in the industrialized world.” It’s informative, infuriating, and should be mandatory viewing for every American who lives in an urban area.  I watched in on Christmas Eve.  Luckily, the next day I was able to retreat into the Paris Metro system, thanks to this amazing gift from my wife.

There are no tags associated with this blog